Touchscreen Stories January 3, 2017

airbar

If you’ve ever wished your MacBook/Air/Pro had a touchscreen, you’ll soon be in luck – at least if you have the 13-inch MacBook Air. AirBar is a plug-and-play infrared device which allows you to use touch on your MacBook Air simply by magnetically attaching the device to the bottom bezel of your screen and plugging it into a USB port.

Creator Neonode says that other MacBook models will be supported later in the year …

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Touchscreen Stories June 3, 2016

SiriFullMac

Apple’s WWDC 2016 will be light on new hardware announcements this year, but that will give the company plenty of stage time to show off big new releases on the software side. Siri for Mac, a Siri SDK for developers, an Apple Music and iTunes refresh, Touch ID features, and possibly a first look at new Macs, Apple has a lot of interesting in-development projects it could show off for Macs and OS X 10.12 at WWDC 2016. Below we roundup the rumored features for the next release of Apple’s Mac operating system and explore some of the possible new hardware we might see at the event later this month.

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Touchscreen Stories May 20, 2016

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While recent reports have detailed talks between Apple and BMW related to Apple’s behind-the-scenes electric car project, BMW has long been one of the last major holdouts to bring Apple’s current in-dash CarPlay platform to its vehicles. That looks like it will change later this year when at least two models will get support for CarPlay. expand full story

Touchscreen Stories February 29, 2016

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Microsoft is currently running a new series of ads featuring ‘The Bug Chicks’, with each ad directly targeting a weakness in Apple’s Mac operating system. Kristie and Jess, curiously labelled as ‘real people paid for real opinions’, walk through several ways that Windows 10 helps them teach kids about bugs and the microscopic world.

The ad series focuses on several different competitive advantages Windows currently holds over OS X, such as touchscreen-equipped laptops for sketching and drawing, Cortana as a personal voice search assistant and face recognition for hands-free account login. Some of the things Microsoft highlights, like the absence of Siri on OS X are expected to be addressed by Apple later in the year, of course. Watch all four videos after the jump:

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Touchscreen Stories December 10, 2015

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The UK entered glove-wearing weather in the last week or two, leaving the annual problem of how to use touchscreen devices when out and about. If you’ve ever used cheap touchscreen gloves, you’ve probably been disappointed. Most aren’t good at either job: they aren’t very warm, and their touchscreen performance is poor.

Jordan was impressed when he tried out a couple of pairs of Mujjo’s touchscreen gloves almost two years ago, and as I still use the company’s Leather Wallet Case as the daily driver for my iPhone 6s, I thought I’d put the latest gloves to the test …

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Touchscreen Stories May 11, 2015

A new report from ETNews claims that Apple is investigating silver nanowire technology to improve touch panels in its much anticipated upcoming 12+-inch iPad:

Apple is planning to apply nano new material on touch panel. By changing ITO-based clear film with silver nano wire (AgNW) material, it plans to raise sense of touch and decrease cost.국내 은나노와이어 Domestic AgNW based touch-screen panel (TSP) industries are getting ready to commercialize the products as soon as possible.

The report, citing sources close to the supply chain, adds that Apple has already requested samples of the tech from LG Display, Samsung Display, Japan Display and others earlier this month.

And it isn’t the first time we’ve heard Apple is experimenting with the technology. The company has a patent for a “Touch Screen Display with Transparent Electrical Shielding Layer” which details an IPS LCD that utilizes “microscopic metal meshes, such as silver nano-wires (AGNW)” as a conducting layer. In the patent, published in January 2014, Apple imagines a display with better power efficiency, a thinner design, and reduced light reflectivity for an iPad. Here’s an excerpt: expand full story

Touchscreen Stories September 3, 2014

 

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Says Digitimes:

Touch panel makers TPK and GIS are among some of the makers receiving orders from Apple for full-lamination units. Sources said the new model will remain unchanged in terms of size and resolution, but that it will be thinner, equipped with an enhanced processor, and contain improved fingerprint recognition features.

Two problems there (at least).

1) The current batch of physical mockups/leaks indicate that the new iPad Air will look mostly the same as the current version, and that it will be roughly the same thinness. You can tell in the image above that the new model (on the top) is only very slightly skinner.

2) How can the fingerprint sensor be “improved” if it never existed in the first place? Nonetheless, we’re hearing the new model does include a Touch ID sensor, like the iPhone.

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Touchscreen Stories August 22, 2014

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Reuters is reporting that iPhone 6 production was disrupted for part of June and July after Apple was forced to abandon its plans to use a thinner display backlighting system in the new handset.

Suppliers to Apple are scrambling to get enough screens ready for the new iPhone 6 smartphone as the need to redesign a key component disrupted panel production ahead of next month’s expected launch, supply chain sources said …

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Touchscreen Stories February 19, 2014

iwatch

An unconfirmed report in China Times claims that Taiwan-based touch panel manufacturer TPK will be making flexible displays for the iWatch, with mass production expected in the second half of the year.

The report said the iWatch will come equipped with a flexible AMOLED display and 3D protective glass. The rumors also speculated that the iWatch will use silver nanowire touch screen technology developed by TPK in conjunction with Japan-based Nissha Printing.

Both the flexible AMOLED and silver nanowire suggest a curved display, but it should be noted that the China Times does not have the best of track records …  expand full story

Touchscreen Stories February 14, 2014

Despite smartphones and tablets being commonplace these days for just about everybody and their grandmother, most non-techies that you run into probably don’t own a pair of touchscreen gloves. That is, winter gloves that don’t require you to take them off to use your iPhone, iPod or iPad. I’ve tried out a couple cheap pairs in recent years from Amazon and elsewhere, but they’ve never really been warm and/or well-made enough to use on a daily basis.

This year I’ve been trying out a few of the more expensive pairs available from one of the original companies making touchscreen gloves, Mujjo. I’ve put a couple different pairs from Mujjo to the test over the past month during a cold Canadian winter to see if they’re really worth the extra cash. expand full story

Touchscreen Stories January 6, 2014

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In an effort to combat spreading germs and bacteria through sharing smart phones and touch screen devices, Corning announced today plans to produce a Gorilla Glass variant with an antimicrobial surface for inhibiting bacterial growth. This version of Corning Gorilla Glass is made up of an antibacterial agent and contains levels of ionic silver that sustains the germ fighting capabilities through the life of the surface, according to the company. expand full story

Touchscreen Stories August 30, 2013

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After Sonny Dickson posted credible photos of an iPad 5 front panel yesterday, he’s now got hold of the claimed rear casing (which we first showed you back in January) and put the two together. Now all he needs is a screen, a touch-panel, a few buttons, a battery, some circuit boards …

More photos below …  expand full story

Touchscreen Stories August 28, 2013

Sonny Dickson has posted decent-sized photos of what is claimed to be the front panel of the iPad 5.

The photos are consistent with what we’re all expecting: essentially a scaled-up iPad Mini, with thinner bezels on the sides. The refresh is also expected to use the same film-based touch panel as the Mini, replacing the glass layer in previous full-size iPads, reducing both thickness and weight. We posted photos of what is believed to be the rear casing back in January and the display panel earlier this month. expand full story

Touchscreen Stories July 3, 2013

We already knew critically acclaimed indie game Limbo would be arriving on iOS this week after an announcement from Danish developer Playdead late last month. Today the title has finally arrived in the App Store for all users and comes with a mere $4.99 price tag for one of the best reviewed indie console games in recent years.

Early reviews for the iOS port seem to be positive and, apart from some tweaked controls for the touchscreen, includes the entire game experience from the console versions.

Limbo ($4.99) for iPhone and iPad is available on the App Store now. expand full story

Touchscreen Stories February 21, 2013

Google’s new Chromebook Pixel Thinks Different about vertical touch surfaces, puts touch on the display

The rumors were true: Google just announced the Chromebook Pixel. It’s a 12.85-inch touchscreen Chromebook with a 2,560-by-1,700 display that packs in “the highest pixel density (239 pixels per inch) of any laptop screen on the market today.”

Let’s start with the screen. This Chromebook has the highest pixel density (239 pixels per inch) of any laptop screen on the market today. Packed with 4.3 million pixels, the display offers sharp text, vivid colors and extra-wide viewing angles. With a screen this rich and engaging, you want to reach out and touch it—so we added touch for a more immersive experience. Touch makes it simple and intuitive to do things like organize tabs, swipe through apps and edit photos with the tip of your finger.

Go to 9to5Google for all the details.

As for the chances of Apple ever making a touchscreen notebook, Steve Jobs made it very clear at the 2010 MacBook Air refresh event that Apple did “tons of user testing” and concluded “it doesn’t work. It’s ergonomically terrible.”

We’ve done tons of user testing on this and it turns out it doesn’t work. Touch surfaces don’t want to be vertical. It gives great demo. But after a short period of time you start to fatigue, and after an extended period of time your arm wants to fall off. It doesn’t work. It’s ergonomically terrible. Touch surfaces want to be horizontal. Hence, pads.

Touchscreen Stories November 19, 2012

Apple is now running exploding 3D iPod ads on various websites

Apple is doing its trademark “explode out of the box” ads on various websites. This one is for iPods and was found on pitchfork.com. If you can find it, the 3D is pretty cool…but don’t have the volume too high.

This one captured by reader @ihkdesign

Touchscreen Stories November 9, 2012

iPhone 5 touchscreen glitch could be a problem for game developers (Video)

First noticed by game developer CMA Megacorp, the iPhone 5 appears to react differently than previous generations of the device when sliding a finger diagonally across the screen in quick succession. The average user might not notice the glitch, but the issue could be a problem for game developers that rely on quick diagonal scrolling and swiping motions. As highlighted by Recombu in the video above, “the problem is exacerbated by scrolling diagonally and as you can see only occurs on the iPhone 5.” In the video, we see the theory put to the test on two iPhone 4Ss and two iPhone 5s, one of each running iOS 6.0 and 6.0.1, indicating the issue might indeed be hardware related.

Touchscreen Stories April 25, 2012

iMac Touch concept incorporates a touchscreen, iOS, and Siri

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“You can converge a toaster and refrigerator, but these things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user”- Tim Cook on Windows 8 and touch-friendly PCs at Q2 earnings.

Disregarding Cook’s statement for a second, here is an iMac touch concept sent by 9to5Mac reader and 3D animation student Joakim Ulseth. The mockup shows how he thought a redesigned iMac could incorporate a touchscreen and iOS-like features. The overall concept is based on an Apple patent published in 2010 that detailed an iMac with adjustable “Flex base.” This is what Ulseth imagined would be inside the next-gen device:

Apple iMac Touch with Flex Base running both OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion and iOS5– ”Power at your fingertips”

Specs:

Retina-Display: The 27-inch iMac Touch features 4096-by-2304 HD resolution. The resulting pixel density — 174 pixels per inch — makes text and graphics look smooth and continuous at any size. Siri: The intelligent assistant that helps you get things done. Ivy Bridge: Intels new Ivy Bridge i5 and i7 processors. Thunderbolt: Two Thunderbolt ports for high speed data transfer.

And, before you unleash the hate:

[tweet https://twitter.com/chronic/status/195163119788634114]

Touchscreen Stories April 23, 2012

Apple to drop 17-inch MacBooks, slim down iPhone w/ in-cell?

You can read into these reports from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities as much as you want. Kuo claimed this morning that Apple is about to axe the 17-inch MacBook Pro line entirely while introducing a rumored all new MacBook design by Q3 2012 (via MacRumors). Kuo also alleged Apple will adopt in-cell display technology to help slim down the next-generation iPhone by up to 1.4mm to under 8mm. IHS told Wired earlier about the advantages of in-cell displays:

“The advantage of in-cell is that you’re streamlining the manufacturing process, so in time you should be able to drive efficiencies and reduce cost.” IHS analyst Rhoda Alexander told Wired. “Additionally, by reducing the number of layers, you reduce the size and thickness of the device, making it thinner and lighter.”

According to the report, Kuo said in-cell would provide a reduction of approximately 0.5mm, while other reductions could come from the battery and a thinner metal casing on the back.

Since Apple’s smartphone competitors have generally slimmed down their high-end offerings to 7-8mm, Apple needs to make a leap forward from 4S’ 9.3mm thickness. We believe Apple will aim at 8mm or below (at least 1.4mm slimmer) for iPhone 5, in a bid to ensure brisk sales through 2014, while peers will also continue to introduce increasingly slim models next year… As such, all iPhone 4S components that account for thickness must be slimmer, specifically, touch panel, battery and casing. Moreover, a marginal amount of space is required between the three parts for the sakes of assembly tolerance and thermal expansion of components.

Touchscreen Stories April 20, 2012

Museum display company sues Apple over touchscreen patent

Yesterday, law firm Hagens Berman filed a lawsuit in a California U.S. District Court against Apple Inc. related to “gesture recognition technology for touchscreens” covered in patents owned by Flatworld Interactives. The company, which originally developed its technology for museum exhibits in the 1990s, is seeking an “injunction enjoining Apple from continued infringement, and an award of damages to compensate Flatworld” for the millions of iOS devices and MacBooks using its technology.

Flatworld Interactives, LLC received U.S. Patent No. RE 43,318, which includes claims to touch screen based systems that allow users to manipulate images using gestures, such as selecting an image by touching it, and flicking images off of the screen.

The full press release is below:

Hagens Berman: Lawsuit Claims Wide Range of Apple Devices Infringe Patents for Screen Manipulation

A lawsuit filed yesterday against Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) by the Hagens Berman law firm claims that the computing and consumer-products giant has built many of its most popular devices including the iPhone and iPad using intellectual property owned by a Villanova, Penn. company that developed gesture recognition technology for touchscreens in the mid-1990s.

Flatworld Interactives, LLC received U.S. Patent No. RE 43,318, which includes claims to touch screen based systems that allow users to manipulate images using gestures, such as selecting an image by touching it, and flicking images off of the screen.

The company designed touchscreen systems originally for use in video displays for museums and other exhibit applications.

Hagens Berman’s lawsuit was filed on Flatworld’s behalf in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. It alleges that numerous best-selling Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, iPod Nano, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air infringe the patent. The complaint also alleges that Apple knew about the patent but continued to sell the infringing products.

“Reading Flatworld’s patent is like reading the description of gesture recognition features of any of the accused products on Apple’s website,” said Steve Berman, Hagens Berman’s managing partner. “It is clear that Flatworld owns technology that Apple has used to drive billions of dollars in infringing sales.”

Flatworld was founded by Dr. Slavko Milekic, a Professor of Cognitive Science & Digital Design at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Penn. Professor Milekic first developed gesture recognition touch screens for use by children as an easier and more intuitive means of interacting with a computer.

The lawsuit seeks a ruling from the court affirming that Apple has infringed the patent, an injunction enjoining Apple from continued infringement, and an award of damages to compensate Flatworld.

More information about this case is available at www.hbsslaw.com/Flatworld.

Touchscreen Stories January 26, 2012

A patent application published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office earlier today reveals Apple is flirting with the idea of a universal touchscreen controller capable of controlling multiple devices including a “television, a video tape player, a video disk player, a stereo, a home control system, or a computer system.” The patent application is titled “Apparatus and Method to Facilitate Universal Remote Control” and was filed Sept. 30, 2011.

The patent application’s background covers many of the issues with current controllers for televisions and the devices mentioned above. It noted current universal remotes are “complex to operate” and unable to adapt to incorporate every command or control functionality supported by a device or future device. It also mentions the fact that users are often “confronted with multiple” remotes, which is the classic “table full of remotes” scenario described by Steve Jobs when talking about the Apple TV at D8. The patent application explained:

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Touchscreen Stories August 9, 2011

Today the US Patent and Trademark Office posted 20 new patents granted to Apple Inc, two of which are valuable patents related to the iPhone, iPad, and iOS. Patents like these have been becoming more important as mobile device manufacturers take each other to court.

According a report from Patently Apple, the three most noteworthy of the patents include one for integrated touch screen technology that allows the display to be “thinner, brighter and require less power” and require less parts to manufacture, another is related to the “Voicemail Manager” for iPhone, and the last appears to be related to “improved installation, retention and removal of hardware components” in Mac Pro or other tower-like personal computers.

Perhaps the most notable of the three is the “Integrated Touch Screen” patent. Below is a snippet of Apple’s summary from Patently Apple.

Apple’s Summary: The patent relates to touch sensing circuitry integrated into the display pixel stackup (i.e., the stacked material layers forming the display pixels) of a display, such as an LCD display. Circuit elements in the display pixel stackups could be grouped together to form touch sensing circuitry that senses a touch on or near the display. Touch sensing circuitry could include, for example, touch signal lines, such as drive lines and sense lines, grounding regions, and other circuitry.

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Touchscreen Stories December 16, 2010

COMPUTERWORLD: Apple is making Macs more touch-friendly when touch makes sense. Magic Trackpad is the touch interface for desktops, but how long will it be until we see the Mac keyboard replaced by a touch-sensitive, intelligent device? What would it do?

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